Yoga Asanas to Maximize Hip Stability
knee and ankle serve as fulcrums to different activities in our daily life. But
fundamentally the ideal motion is about stability just as much as it is about
mobility. This is precisely why
stability is an issue that deserves a greater focus.
The hips contain several muscles known as the abductors. These include the
tensor fascia lata, gluteus medius, illiacus and psoas major. A loaded weak hip
would be either excessive internal rotation of the hip and/or relative hip
adduction. Lateral pelvic shift toward the weak hip (actual hip adduction),
elevation of the pelvis on the weak side, and lateral torso flexion towards the
contra lateral side are all deviations that usually accompany a weak hip. Think
of life as one big
workout and youíll see amazing results. Every time you walk, move and bend, fire
(squeeze) those glutes.
Every joint in our bodies that allows for mobility is equally equipped
with stabilizers that allow for controlled motion, the ability to shift
our center of gravity, and the handling of various loads. Most people
get into trouble
squatting by using their quadriceps rather than the muscles of the
hips to initiate movement. As a result, the knees slide forward, the
glutes donít get involved and there is undue pressure on the knees and
back. Our goal is to become more glute-dominant.
The question arises, how to maintain hip stability? Get familiar with these hip
stabilizing yoga asanas
Trikonasana: Stand with your feet three to 3 - 3.5' apart. Turn
your left foot in 30 degrees and your right foot out 90 degrees. Be sure
that your right heel is in line with the arch of your left foot. Bring your
hands into a T position and take a deep inhalation.
Exhale and move your pelvis
toward the left as you extend your torso to the side and over your right
leg. Place your right hand down on your shin and stretch your left arm
vertically overhead, palm forward. Turn your head to gaze softly at your
left thumb. Hold for three breaths. Release by coming back to standing and
practice on the opposite side.
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose): pose for
lower-back pain. Its actions help create traction in the
lower back, which can relieve compression and tension. While laying on
your back, straighten your right leg up toward the ceiling. Place a yoga
strap on the ball of the right foot and extend the right leg out toward the
right while holding on to the strap. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and repeat
on the other side.
Pose): Stand on your left leg and bend your
right knee, turning it out to the side. Rest your right heel against your
left leg with your right toes on the floor. You can either place the foot of
the right leg on the left ankle with the toes on the ground, or move it
higher up above the knee, the classical version of this pose. However, you
should never place your foot on your opposite knee. Once you've found a
comfortable position for your foot, bring your hands together at your heart
center. Optional: Lift the arms and the gaze overhead. Your abdomen should
be relaxed and your standing leg should remain straight.
Find a steady point for your gaze and breathe deeply. Stay for a comfortable
length of time then gently release and then move into tree on the other
Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Straddle Forward Bend): Step
the feet apart into a wide straddle. The feet should be slightly pigeon-toed
so that the outside edges of the feet stay parallel. Deepen the hip creases
as you come into a forward bend. Bring the hands directly underneath your
shoulders. Then begin to walk the hands back, bringing your
wrists in line with your ankles, if possible. Bend the elbows as if in
Chaturanga. Try bringing your body weight forward into the balls of your
feet to keep the hips in the same plane as the ankles. Engage the quadriceps
and draw them upwards. Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths, lengthening the spine
on the inhales and deepening the forward bend on the exhales. To come out,
bring your hands onto your hips and keep your back flat as you come up to
Beginners: Take blocks under your hands if they don't reach the floor.
Utthita Parsvakonasana: From
Downward Facing Dog, bring the right foot forward next to the right
hand. Drop the left heel down to the floor. Bend the right knee so the calf
and thigh are at a right angle with the thigh parallel to the floor. Bring
the right hand inside or outside the right foot and the left arm up toward
the ceiling, opening the chest and stacking the left shoulder on top of the
right. Bring the gaze up to the right hand. To keep the body in balance,
repeat on the left side.
Beginners: If the right hand does not comfortably reach the floor, take a
block under the hand so that you can still open the chest.
Balasana (Child's Pose): From Downward Facing Dog, drop the knees
to the floor. Spread the knees as wide as the mat, keeping the big toes
touching. Bring the
to rest between the thighs and the forehead to the floor. There are two
possible arm variations: Either stretch the arms in front of you with the
palms toward the floor or bring the arms back alongside the
with the palms facing upwards. Do whichever feel more comfortable to you.
Beginners: Rest in Childís Pose at any time if you get tired or out of
breath. Rejoin the class when you are ready.
Pose): The Corpse Pose or Savasana may look like
relaxing pose that is done in between or after an
but this exercise requires a lot of concentration and will develop through
continued practice. Rotate your legs in and out, and then let them fall
gently out to the sides. Let your arms fall alongside your body, slightly
separated from the body, palms facing upwards. Rotate the spine by turning
your head from side to side to center it. Then start stretching yourself
out, as though someone is pulling your head away from your feet, your
shoulders down and away from your neck, your legs down and away from your
pelvis. Breathe deeply and slowly from your abdomen. Hold the pose for
several minutes. Make your mind still and
concentrate on your breath or the body. After doing the pose, bend your
knees. Using your legs, push yourself onto one side. Push yourself in a
Consult with your doctor before practicing yoga for your hips.
Dated 20 January 2012